A report from FOXSports.com that free-agent outfielder Jermaine Dye is willing to play first base next season, and how he could be "a right-handed hitting alternative at first for several clubs, including the Braves, Mets, Giants and Orioles," has stirred up some readers. It's important to stress that the report doesn't state that the Orioles are interested. They're just tossed into the mix because they need a first baseman and a right-handed bat for the middle of their lineup. Back on Nov. 7, I wrote about being intrigued by Dye, but more so as a designated hitter and a short-term solution. Allow me to quote myself: Could Jermaine Dye, at the right cost, provide that right-handed power bat for the middle of the order that manager Dave Trembley places high on his wish list? Dye has averaged 33 home runs over the past five seasons, though he's batted .254 and .250 in two of the last three. He could serve as the designated hitter, though he might prefer to play right field (and for a contender, of course). The Orioles aren't likely to trade for Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla because they're not convinced that he can play third, and they would rather go with somebody who's proven at the position. They could make the same argument about Dye and first base, where he's made one career appearance in the majors. They're willing to experiment with their own players at first - Javy Lopez and Luke Scott, to name two - but I'm not sure they'd sign Dye with the idea that he'd start there on Opening Day. They might be more inclined to give Nolan Reimold a mitt and hit him ground balls in spring training if they can acquire a left fielder. To me, Dye would interest them only as a DH who might be able to play a little first base on occasion. I'll wait to be proven wrong. It's happened a few times. Meanwhile, Twins catcher Joe Mauer was a near-unanimous winner of the AL's Most Valuable Player award. Absolutely no argument here. Mauer received 27 of a possible 28 first-place votes. The Tigers' Miguel Cabrera received the other vote, but he finished fourth. I'd like to know who chose Cabrera over Mauer. Mark Teixera placed second, followed by Derek Jeter. Kendry Morales was fifth. So would you rather have Mauer or Matt Wieters?
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